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Czech reporter banned from entering Ukraine

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Prague/Kiev, May 2 (CTK) – Czech reporter Jan Rychetsky, from the Parlamentni listy web paper, was banned from entering Ukraine after his arrival at the Boryspil international airport near Kiev on Tuesday, the paper confirmed on Wednesday.

Parlamentni listy says Rychetsky learnt at the airport that the Ukrainian intelligence service (SBU) had issued a five-year ban on his entry into the country valid for 2015-2020.

The portal writes that the reasons for his expulsion are subject to speculations.

Along with Rychetsky, another two foreign reporters, from Russia and Italy, were not allowed to enter the country, the Ukrainian border guard’s press service announced on Wednesday. It said the expelled reporters were “pro-Russian oriented persons.”

According to the border guard’s press service, all three foreign journalists were heading for Ukraine to report on the events marking the fourth anniversary of the tragic incidents in Odessa where dozens of Russian activists died in clashes with Ukrainian ultra-right radicals in May 2014.

The Ukrainian border police’s statement says Rychetsky is a reporter of “a political medium that was distorting information and mendaciously reported on events in Ukraine.” It also questioned the unbiased character of the expelled journalists.

According to the Parlamentni listy editorial board, Rychetsky visited Ukraine several times in the past few years. In 2015, he was monitoring the elections in Donbas, in the territory controlled by pro-Russian radicals, where “the local authorities invited him.”

Rychetsky intended to write reports about the current events in Odessa, Parlamentni listy says.

The expelled Russian reporter was “a political observer of a Russian publishing house,” the Ukrainian border police’s statement writes.

Italian journalist Giorgio Bianchi was along with Rychetsky sent home as soon as he arrived at the Boryspil airport, the TASS Russian news agency reports.

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